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Author: George McCoy

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What Are the Responsibilities of a Personal Injury Lawyer?

When you experience a personal injury, which can be an injury to the mind or body, it isn’t always easy to get the compensation you deserve. Figuring out who will pay for your expenses can be a huge hassle, and finding a way to get it resolved may seem impossible on your own. Though it may seem simple enough to prove your injury, this process can often become more complex and require a professional eye to investigate, prove, and argue your case.

A personal injury lawyer will assist you in receiving compensation after suffering from such an injury by doing the handwork, which involves more steps than you’d expect. Our lawyers at Warren Allen LLP serve Oregon and have experience with many types of personal injury cases. We can provide the help you desperately need during situations like this. A personal injury lawyer takes on a variety of tasks to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. Here are a few of the responsibilities that personal injury lawyers have.

Be Qualified and Educated

Not everyone is qualified to represent you and your personal injury case. A qualified personal injury lawyer will have completed extensive education to receive their title, giving them the knowledge to navigate your situation in the smartest way possible. This includes obtaining an undergraduate degree and then going on to complete training at an accredited law school.

After obtaining both degrees, an individual will also have to take a series of tests to prove their knowledge of the law. The Law School Administration Test (LSAT), Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE), and the bar exam are all tests that personal injury lawyers are required to pass. Depending on the state you live in, there may be even more examination requirements for your lawyer. A professional personal injury lawyer will have made these qualifications their responsibility before providing services.

Investigate the Claim

Once you hire a personal injury lawyer to take on your case, that person will be responsible for gathering the information needed to prove your right to compensation. This goes much further than a simple “he said, she said.” A personal injury lawyer will collect significant evidence to support your case. This can include acquiring surveillance footage of your accident, finding witnesses, hiring an investigator to further look into the situation, and obtaining police reports.

These lawyers will gather all the necessary information and examine it as evidence to support your case. Gathering all of this evidence can be a difficult task, but having enough of it can make the difference between winning and losing your case. A good personal injury lawyer will take this responsibility seriously and do everything in their power to gather as much evidence as they can.

Explain Your Rights to You

Not everyone is as well-versed with the law as a personal injury lawyer, and that’s okay. The education that a personal injury lawyer receives gives them more knowledge than the average person about the law, which can be a relief when you aren’t sure about what rights you have regarding your personal injury. The law was created to protect individuals in situations like this, but it’s up to your team to know which laws can protect you.

It’s your lawyer’s job to explain to you what rights you have regarding your personal injury as well as the compensation you’re eligible for. Once they fully understand your case and have collected the proper evidence, your lawyer will be able to tell you what you should expect from your injury and what you’re entitled to receive because of it.

Communicate with Insurance Companies

Depending on how you sustained your personal injury, you may have to deal with an insurance company that’s in charge of your compensation. Insurance companies may not have your best interests in mind, and they may try to offer you compensation lower than you deserve. These situations can become difficult, and knowing how to properly interact with an insurance company is important.

When you have a personal injury lawyer on your side, you won’t have to worry about having discussions with insurance companies, as your lawyer will handle those interactions. They take on the responsibility of speaking on your behalf and conversing in a way that’s in your best interest. With their knowledge from other cases and education, they can work to negotiate a payment that’s fair for you. This can take a lot of stress off you and allow you to avoid potential manipulation from an insurance company.

Prepare the Client for Deposition

In many cases, a deposition is required. A deposition is the process of giving sworn evidence and can often be an intimidating aspect of a personal injury case. It’s the personal injury lawyer’s job to prepare clients for this deposition, by getting all of the facts together in an effort to produce the most honest portrayal of the events that led to injury.

Though the truth isn’t hard to tell, knowing and remembering all of the details necessary to give a full telling of your situation may take practice. Your lawyer will both prepare you for and allow you to practice giving your deposition so that it’s as complete as possible.

Represent You in Court

No one wants to have to go to trial for their case. A lawyer will do everything possible to have your case settled before it gets to that point. Many personal injury cases can be settled much earlier in the process, such as during litigation or mediation or through negotiations. Still, sometimes coming to an agreement can be a challenge and your case will have to go to trial.

If this is the case, your personal injury lawyer will have the responsibility of representing you at trial. This includes presenting the evidence they’ve obtained to a judge and maybe jury and preparing you beforehand for this experience. This situation and the instances that come beforehand are why hiring a personal injury lawyer is so important. Their expertise can get you through this process and lead you to the compensation you deserve.

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What Services Are Offered By Family Law Firms in Portland?

Family legal issues are some of the most sensitive topics to discuss, as they are deeply personal and often extremely important. When you can’t come to an agreement within your family about legal matters, it’s often best to enlist the help of a family law firm. Family law firms in Portland, Oregon, can help guide you through those difficult times and help you to come to an agreement that’s in the best interests of you and your family.

Family law firms deal with a variety of issues that can arise within families, including divorces, child custody agreements, adoptions, and much more. With the help of family law firms such as Warren Allen LLP, you can feel at ease knowing that knowledgeable professionals are on your side. If you’re having legal issues within your family, you may be able to benefit from hiring a lawyer from a family law firm. Here are a few of the services offered by family law firms.

Prenuptial Agreements

If you’re considering getting married and want to come up with a way to protect your assets in case of divorce, a prenuptial agreement may be a good choice for you. A prenuptial agreement is a contract that two people sign prior to becoming a married couple. What the contract states will be unique to each couple, but it’s generally a signed contract that explains how their assets will be divided if they get divorced. This could cover topics like property ownership, spousal support, and financial assets.

When the couple signs this agreement, they will have a much easier process of divorce should they ever choose to end their marriage. One of the biggest conflicts that divorced couples have is agreeing on how they will split up the things that they own jointly, but with a prenuptial agreement, those decisions are already made.

When you want to create a prenuptial agreement, you’ll need the help of a family law firm. Family law firms in Portland, Oregon, will consult both parties on which things should be covered in their agreement. They will also be the ones drawing up the agreement and taking care of legalities.

Divorce

Not many people consider the fact that they may get divorced, which often leaves them unprepared when divorce becomes an option. People divorce for a variety of reasons, but most stem from having two people with different ideas for how they want the rest of their lives to go. When it gets to this point, it can be hard for those same two people to come to a mutual understanding about the things that matter most. This time can be intense for all parties involved, which often leads them to need a family law firm to act as a mediator.

A divorce lawyer at a family law firm in Portland can help you to figure out what happens next after you decide to get divorced. Having this third party can make conversations less confrontational and provide needed support in a time of stress and intense emotions. A family lawyer can also help couples come to an understanding before ever having to go to court. With an experienced law firm like Warren Allen LLP on your side, you can ensure that you get what’s fair after your divorce.

Child Custody Agreements

In divorces or separations where the couple has children, figuring out who gets what time with the children can be difficult. With both parties typically very emotionally attached, it can be impossible to come to a fair agreement without the help of a third party. These situations are also more likely to become confrontational. When you enlist the help of a family law firm, a lawyer will help you to fight for the time you want with your child and create a more professional environment to come to that conclusion.

Coming to agreements about child custody can cause enormous tension within families. This is especially relevant in cases where an agreement was attempted outside of the court and one party is failing to uphold that agreement. The benefit of going through a family law firm and drafting a legal agreement is that the law is on your side in the case that someone breaks that agreement. In your contract, there will be specific repercussions for not adhering to the rules of the contract. This helps to hold each party accountable. When dealing with child custody issues, going through a family law firm can be the easiest way to a solution.

Adoption

If you’re interested in expanding your family through adoption, a family lawyer can assist you in navigating the legal requirements. Adoption isn’t as easy as just wanting to bring a child into your home. You have to prove that you’re fit and sometimes be chosen by a birth mother.

Aside from having a lawyer to help you adopt successfully, they can also help you to understand your rights after the child is in your care. Some people run into situations where the birthmother rescinds her offer, there are undisclosed health issues, or a stillbirth occurs. Having a lawyer draw up documents that detail how these situations will be handled beforehand can protect you should any complications arise.

Paternity

If you need to prove the paternity of a child, a family law firm could be of assistance to you. Mothers often choose this route to legally determine the paternity of their child when the father is absent. This allows the mother to file for child support payments from their child’s father by showing proof that the child biologically belongs to them, despite their current role in the child’s life. The mother has a right to these payments, and hiring a lawyer will assist her in obtaining them.

Mothers aren’t the only ones who can benefit from hiring a family law firm to determine paternity. Fathers who are seeking custody of a child can use a family law firm to help them legally establish paternity and go after full or partial custody of that child. Having a family lawyer on your side can help you to understand your rights and speed up the process of obtaining custody.

Car Insurance

Why Do I Need Auto Insurance?

Next to your home mortgage or rent, your car payment is probably one of the largest monthly expenses you have. Toss in gas, insurance, maintenance, and everything else that goes along with owning a car, and it all adds up to one pretty penny rather quickly. With all these extra expenses, it may be tempting to skimp on your auto insurance coverage. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

Warren Allen specializes in personal injury law, representing people like you and helping them get the most out of their auto insurance. But in order to help you do that, you first have to be insured. Here are some of the top reasons you should carry auto insurance. Trust us, this is one card you’ll always want to keep in your back pocket.

Offers Protection

First and foremost, your auto insurance offers protection should you ever damage your vehicle or experience bodily injury from a car accident. Though you have to pay upfront for auto insurance coverage, it can save you from a major financial loss down the line in the event that you’re in a catastrophic accident.

If you’re the person at fault in a car accident, for example, your auto insurance protects you by covering the cost of repairs. Your auto insurance may also cover property damage if you knock over someone’s mailbox, for instance. Though you may be responsible for paying a deductible, having auto insurance generally protects you by limiting your out-of-pocket expenses if your car is seriously damaged.

But even more important than that, some types of auto insurance also protect you and your family by covering medical expenses that are the result of a car accident. If you injure another person in an auto accident, bodily injury liability insurance will help pay the cost of their medical expenses as well. This type of coverage may even help cover attorney fees if you’re in a dispute and need to retain a personal injury law firm to help resolve complex legal issues. Furthermore, this type of auto insurance coverage is required in the state of Oregon. More on that in just a bit.

Provides Convenience

In addition to saving you money, auto insurance makes things convenient as well. Once you contact your auto insurance company and file your claim, most matters will be handled for you. Let’s say you’re in an accident and your car is damaged. Your insurance provider can arrange to have a tow truck company tow your car to an auto repair shop. They will also arrange for the cost of the repairs, minus your deductible. Your insurance provider will also contact a rental car company to reserve a rental for you while your car is in the shop.

All of these expenses can add up to quite a lot. Not only will the cost of repairs and the rental car be covered, but you also won’t have to worry about making these arrangements on your own. While car accidents can be stressful, your auto insurance provider can minimize that stress by handling all the moving parts that must be addressed following an auto accident.

Gives You Peace of Mind

Imagine walking out of your home to find that your car isn’t where you left it. You search the parking lot and see broken glass. Perhaps someone knocked out a window, hot-wired your car, and drove away with it. What are you going to do? You still have a car payment, and now, if you’re unable to recover your car, you’ll need a new set of wheels as well.

If you have comprehensive auto insurance, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your car is protected. With comprehensive coverage, you can recover the cost of your car’s value if it’s stolen or damaged because of a break-in. You can rest easy knowing you won’t have to make payments on a car you no longer possess.

Insurance providers also vet the companies they work with and only contract with trusted industry leaders. This means if your car is vandalized or damaged in an accident, you won’t have to worry about taking it to an auto repair shop that’s going to inflate the cost of repairs and perform unnecessary work. You can have peace of mind knowing the repair shop is likely a reputable company that the insurance provider has worked with many times before.

It’s Legally Required

Auto insurance coverage offers many benefits that make it pretty clear it’s a smart investment. But not only is it a wise choice, it’s also a legal requirement in many states. For instance, in the state of Oregon, it’s illegal to drive without liability coverage. If you live here, you’ll need to have both bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. The minimum amount of coverage required is $25,000 per person, $50,000 per crash for bodily injury to others, and $20,000 per crash for damage to the property of others.

There are certain exemptions to the rule. But in most cases, auto insurance is required. Plus, in the long run, the advantages auto insurance provides outweigh its cost. You’ll be in compliance with state law and also have coverage should you be involved in a car accident.

We get it. The costs of owning a car certainly add up. Gas, repairs, insurance, oil changes … the list goes on and on. But the fact remains, you simply cannot overlook the importance of carrying auto insurance. If you have questions about your coverage, need legal advice, or want to retain representation for a court matter involving a personal injury accident, reach out to us here at Warren Allen. We’ll provide you with sound advice to help you save money, as well as protect yourself and your family.

 

Car Insurance Claims

What Are the Common Legal Claims in Motor Vehicle Accidents?

No one expects to be in a motor vehicle accident. Unfortunately, you’re at risk whenever you get into a car. All drivers have a responsibility to be as safe as they can be on the road, but in the instance that you are in a motor vehicle accident, you need to be prepared with a plan of action.

What Kind of Claims Are Commonly Made in Motor Vehicle Accidents?

Motor vehicle accidents are frightening and messy events, and seeking financial settlements from any of the parties involved can quickly become complicated. That’s why before you seek any legal action, you should consult with a trusted law firm, such as Warren Allen LLC. Determining the extent of damages to claim, as well as who should be named in any claims, is best left to the professionals. When it comes to understanding the basics of the claims, the most important things for you to know are the different kinds of damages that can have legal standing. You’re your best advocate when assessing any financial or material loss, so it’s best to be armed with the knowledge of what claims are available to you.

Property Damage Claims

In the event of a collision, insurance can help cover the costs associated with lost or damaged property. Depending on the coverage provided and the extent of the damage, your damages may exceed the amount covered by the policy.

1. Damage to Your Vehicle

After any motor vehicle accident, take your car to a mechanic or garage you trust to get an estimate of the cost of repairs. If the estimate goes beyond any insurance payments, you may be able to seek a claim to cover the remaining bill.

2. Damage to Your Possessions

If any of your possessions have been damaged due to another driver’s negligence beyond the amount that insurance will cover, you may be able to make property damage claims. You shouldn’t expect to be able to make a claim for every single item in your vehicle, but any larger or more expensive items that were damaged or lost in the incident may present a more solid case.

Personal Injury Claims

Often, the more costly expenses from motor vehicle accidents are related to personal harm or injury. This is because injuries sustained from motor vehicle accidents can have a much longer-lasting financial impact, often due to medical treatment or physical recovery. Claims of this nature can cover a wide variety of expenses, so it’s worth keeping them in mind.

1. Medical Expenses

Depending on the severity of injuries suffered by you or anyone else in your vehicle, a motor vehicle accident can result in rapidly building medical bills. Sometimes these bills are covered by either your or the other driver’s insurance, but in the event of more serious injuries, the cost may go far beyond any coverage. Emergency room visits, diagnostic tests like scans or x-rays, and even ambulance rides can quickly balloon medical costs.

Even after the initial emergency room visit, you may be facing even more medical bills for future treatment. Follow up visits, prescriptions, or even surgery may end up becoming necessary, and that’s if there’s a clear path to recovery. In the worst-case scenario, you may end up suffering from a chronic condition due to the collision. Obviously, if you’re recovering from severe physical trauma, you should by no means sacrifice your health for financial reasons. If your current and future medical expenses are growing way beyond your control, you may be able to cover it through a legal claim.

2. Physical Therapy Costs

Similar to medical costs, any physical therapy that you need to receive due to a motor vehicle accident may be covered through a legal claim. This can extend to any rehabilitation to regain physical capabilities you may have lost in the course of the collision, as well as any assistive devices, such as crutches or a wheelchair.

3. Loss of Income

Beyond the straightforward expenses for medical services or physical therapy, you may also be entitled to compensation for wages lost due to a motor vehicle accident. While many insurance plans offer wage replacement funds for individuals who are unable to return to work for medical reasons, it may not be enough to cover the entirety of lost wages. If you end up unable to work for an extended period of time due to a collision, you may be able to make a claim to cover said lost wages. This can extend beyond any wages lost before going to court as well.

If it’s determined that you will be out of work for an extended period of time into the future, you may qualify for additional compensation. This is legally termed as “lost earning capacity,” referring to the income a person will lose due to their inability to return to work in the future. If you’re unable to return to work for some time, or if you’re unable to return to your job at all due to injuries sustained, you may be able to seek a claim to cover the financial loss.

What Should I Do If I’m in a Motor Vehicle Accident?

If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to be in an accident, you know how confusing and chaotic those first few minutes can be. The best way to walk away from a motor vehicle accident is to already have a concrete plan of action in mind whenever you get into a car.
The first and most important thing to do after a collision is to pull over and assess any injuries. If no one is in immediate need of your help, waste no time in calling 911. Even if you think there are no serious injuries, it’s critical you get professional aid to the scene of the collision.

After that, exchange information with the other driver and document, document, document! It’s extremely important you get a clear picture of the scene and damage in the moment, both for insurance reasons and for any potential legal claims you may end up making. If you aren’t sure whether or not you have a case, reach out to a reputable legal counsel. Motor vehicle accidents are horrible ordeals, but you don’t have to face the aftermath alone.

Planning for Incapacity

Planning for Incapacity

A. Incapacity. As a general rule, each person has the authority to make decisions concerning himself or herself and no other person automatically has that authority. As long as a person has the capacity to make decisions, this rule for decision-making works. If a person becomes legally incapable of making decisions, however, the general rule does not work. In that case, authority to make decisions concerning the incapacitated person or his/her property must be transferred to another person.

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financial growth

How to Protect the Financially Challenged Child

It is increasingly common today for parents to have concerns about one or more of their children’s money management skills and judgment. These concerns may arise from a variety of factors including substance abuse, gambling, a spouse that is perceived to be untrustworthy, and sometimes just plain run-of-the-mill immaturity. Regardless of the source of the concern, many parents desire to impose certain controls so that a child’s inheritance will not be squandered or mismanaged.

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Property Distribution

How Property Gets Distributed After Death

A. “Survivorship” Property Is Property That Passes to Another upon the Death of One of the Owners by Operation of Law Without the Need of Probate or Other Process.

  1. Survivorship real property is most commonly found among husbands and wives who own property as tenants by the entirety (as husband and wife). Other arrangements may include certain types of joint tenancies which also have provisions for survivorship. When one party dies, the other automatically owns the property.

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Estate Planning

What is Estate Planning and Why is it Important

Every person who has money or owns property that will not be expended or disposed of during his or her lifetime has an estate. Estate planning is simply the process of deciding how such assets will be distributed now or after death. It includes taking steps to insure that decisions are carried out effectively and economically. These steps may involve titling assets, naming beneficiaries, and creating such documents as wills and trusts. In complex situations, more is involved.

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